- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The White House said Wednesday that President Trump opposes the immigration plan sponsored by Sen. John McCain and which had been adopted as Democrats’ chief solution for illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” saying it would allow criminals aliens to get citizenship and protect high school gang members from deportation.

The Department of Homeland Security also also said Mr. McCain’s plan, which is now pending on the Senate floor as Democrats’ ante in the immigration debate, would invite “widespread fraud,” allowing illegal immigrants to attest to their own qualifications.

“The White House opposes the McCain-Coons immigration proposal, which would increase illegal immigration, surge chain migration, continue catch and release, and give a pathway to citizenship to convicted alien felons,” deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement.

The White House is taking an increasingly active role in trying to shape the immigration debate, which began Monday in the Senate. Three days into the debate, no policy votes have been held.

Republicans tried to push a vote to crack down on sanctuary cities, but Democrats have refused, saying it’s outside the scope of what they will allow.

They want the debate to focus as much as possible on granting legal status to Dreamers, with a small down payment on border security included.

Mr. McCain’s bill, which he’s sponsoring with Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, would couple an exceptionally generous amnesty for perhaps 3 million illegal immigrants with calls for a new study of border security and a promise to follow through on those recommendations by 2021. The McCain plan would also direct more foreign aid to Central America.

Homeland Security said there’s no need for another study, saying they’ve looked at the issue repeatedly and already have a plan in place. They said that’s the backbone of President Trump’s immigration framework.

“The McCain-Coons proposal does not authorize a single penny for appropriations for border security, ensuring that our nation’s border is never secured or our national security protected,” Homeland Security said in a memo.

Mr. McCain’s spokeswoman said he’s trying to find bipartisan solutions to fix the Dreamers’ situation.

“The bill he cosponsored with Senator Coons was always intended to be starting point from which further negotiations could begin on issues such as increasing funding for border security and reforming our immigration system,” said spokeswoman Julie Tarallo.

Mr. Coons’ office didn’t respond to a request for comment.


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